Central and peripheral forms of C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP): evidence for differential regulation in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid.

PMID 21262296


Aminoterminal proCNP (NTproCNP), a stable product of CNP gene expression and readily measured in human plasma, provides a new approach to studies of CNP which is rapidly degraded at source. CNP is detectable in human CSF but the presence and proportions of NTproCNP in CSF are unknown. Since CNP is widely expressed throughout the CNS, we hypothesized that the ratio of NTproCNP to CNP in CSF is greatly increased when compared to plasma and that CSF CNP peptides may contribute to their concentrations in the systemic circulation. Concurrent plasma and CSF concentrations of CNP forms were measured in 51 subjects undergoing spinal anesthesia for arranged orthopedic procedures. Elevated concentrations of NTproCNP (1045 ± 359 pmol/L), characterized by HPLC-RIA, were found in CSF and greatly exceeded those of CNP (7.9 ± 3.2 pmol/L). The ratio of NTproCNP to CNP in CSF (145 ± 55) was much higher than in plasma (31 ± 27). A significant inverse relation was found between plasma and CSF CNP concentrations (r = -0.29, p < 0.05). cGMP and neprilysin were unrelated to CNP levels in CSF. We conclude that CNP is differentially regulated across the brain in normal health. Despite markedly elevated levels of NTproCNP in CSF, it is unlikely that these contribute to systemic levels in healthy adults. Identifying NTproCNP as the dominant CNP form in CSF opens up the possibility of its use in future studies exploring CNP regulation within the CNS and possible applications in the diagnosis and monitoring of subjects with central neural disorders.

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Guanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate, ≥98% (HPLC), powder